What can you say about the Orange County Grand Jury?
When its members reach down to straighten out wrinkles in their socks they discover they aren't wearing any.
At bedtime, their teeth and their mouths don't share the same room.
In case you haven't heard, the grand jury is historically comprised of good folks in their late 60s, 70s and 80s.
I'm not saying that the panel that serves District Attorney Tony Rackauckas his ham sandwiches isn't capable of performing great public services.
For example, last week the grand jury issued a stinging report about the unethical conduct various Orange County elected officials--Hi, Jerry Amante!--heaped on a university professor--Yo, Fred Smoller!
The report, while written like a technical manual for fixing a broken lawn mower, outlines how Smoller was smeared for allowing two students to investigate how much pay and benefits local city managers nab from taxpayers. (Answer: lots, especially in hidden benefits; one took home $461,000 annually.)
All was well until David Whiting--the man who assumed the Orange County Register's Bootlicker position after the departure of the infamously embarrassing (absolutely do not click here unless you can stomach Bootlicking debauchery) Gordon Dillow--showed up recently at the grand jury room in Santa Ana and made a fascinating discovery.
More on that discovery in a second.
First, recall what usually happens when Whiting arrives on the scene.
During an anti-police brutality rally sponsored by KFI's John and Ken in Fullerton after the Kelly Thomas killing, Whiting found kindred spirits with the cops who unnecessarily beat the unarmed, homeless man to death (their difficult jobs require public thanks) and the politicians who worked to protect the badged thugs (defusing public outrage is noble).
Last year, I wrote about an incident where Orange County Jail deputies locked a violent Three Strikes, white supremacist gangster in a cell with a man police wrongly arrested for a misdemeanor sex crime and pretended to be surprised by the gruesome, near fatal attack that ensued.
A few weeks later, Whiting showed up at the OCJ, spent a couple of hours watching the deputies, didn't see them beat anyone to death in his presence and concluded that they work "with a touch of grace."
Grace? Touch of Grace? Jail deputies? Okay, David. Even the deputies must be still be laughing at that one.
Back to Whiting's grand jury voyage: Are you seated? He discovered that when the local daily newspaper writes about grand jury reports "it attracts attention and pressure," according to the paper's last remaining subscriber stronghold: people who eat dinner at 4 p.m.
"The jurors tell me that when the media--and they cite The Register--covers Grand Jury reports it attracts attention and [his emphasis] pressure," Whiting proudly reported.
Can you imagine?
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Though he didn't bother to cite a single example of the assertion, Whiting wants us to know above all else that his embattled, recently sold paper is still relevant with him as its front page columnist.